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Vol 1 Issue #21 October, 2010

Homeland Security drill offers rare look at disaster preparedness

A mention in this week's U.S. News and World Report inspired the Homeland Security facility to invite the media for a rare look at two different health care exercises, both of which seemed to come together as one.

In this scenario, health care workers from throughout the U.S. acted out an explosion at a battery acid factory. Patients show up bleeding and in various states of shock and hysteria.  More and more casualties pile up and workers have to set up a decon station outside the emergency room.

"There's just a heightened sense of urgency," says student Irene Thompson, who comes from a hospital in Maryland.  "It's not like sitting in a classroom, where you're talking about it. We're actually doing it."

Lanny Campbell, a doctor from Idaho, sees all sorts of obstacles thrown at him in the exercise.  At one point a generator failure shuts down power at the hospital, also part of the drill.

"It's quite overwhelming but it helps me prepare a little bit," says Campbell.

The CDP operates on the site of the old Fort McClellan Army base, and this exercise takes place at the Noble Training Center, which was once the base hospital.   The CDP was training first responders from all over the country on nightmare terrorism scenarios even before the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and teaches responders about everything else from hurricanes to meth labs in cars.

Trainers say the training helps the responders with everything.  Health care course manager Candice Gilliland says, "Essentially what they bring back is a little bit more knowledge to go back and check their emergency operations plan at their facility, and check and see, hey, do we have this accounted for, can we or are we prepared for this."

Another course manager, John Skinner, describes how world events, from terrorism to natural disasters, shape what happens at the center.

"We're trying to keep up with the incidents that are happening throughout the world," says Skinner.   "We've had Katrina, which was a major incident for the United States, we've had fires, we've had floods, and every single one of those produced large numbers of casualties."

The courses are paid for entirely out of the federal Homeland Security budget so hospitals, local police, fire departments, or others won't have to do so.






EHS&RM - General

Tel: 770-499-3321
Fax: 770-420-4363

Campus Emergency

Dial - 6666


Executive Director

Mr. Gerald Donaldson, REM

Risk Manager

Email: risk management

Chemical Safety Manager

Ms. Vanessa Biggers

Environmental Manager

Mr. Stephen Ndiritu, MS

Operations Coordinator

Mr. Lionel Elder

Administrative Associate

Ms. Natalie Higgins, BS

Student Assistant

Ms. Leslie Burch

Student Assistant

Miss Kimberly Helms

Work Study

Mr. David Harrell


Common Services

The EHS&RM Office provides a variety of services to address environmental, health and safety issues at KSU. These services range from routine to urgent to spill response support. Who to call and when to call may be an issue for you when you want or need environmental, health, safety or risk management services. We want to ensure that your questions and/or services requested are adequately addressed in a timely manner.

The EHS&RM Office has established the following process:

• One number to call for any EHS&RM matter during normal business hours (8am–5pm): 770-499-3321- (3321- from a campus phone).
• A system to reach EHS&RM staff after hours for environmental, health and safety emergencies or urgent matters, by calling the KSU Public Safety 770-423-6666 (6666- from a campus phone)
• EHS&RM staff on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to address emergencies and urgent matters. The on-call staff rotates, so calling the EHS Office main number for urgent matters during business hours, and emergency numbers after hours ensures you reach the on-call staff.
• One email address: for non-urgent matters.
• Web page forms to request some routine services or inquiries.

Always contact staff members you know directly for non-urgent matters, but if the matter is urgent and the staff member does not answer their direct phone, please call the main number to ensure a timely response. For routine services provided by the EHS&RM office, please allow enough time. KSU operations have increased significantly. Therefore, the EHS&RM staff is actively engaged in providing optimal services needed to the campus community at large. Please reference the following link regarding Common EHS&RM Services.

We solicit your feedback as we continue to provide the necessary support in partnering with the campus community.

See you around campus!dfgs

Gerald C. Donaldson, REM
Executive Director-EHS&RM 


Fire Prevention /Smoke Detectors

The 2010 National Fire Protection Association’s National Fire Prevention Week is October 3 – 9.  This year’s theme is: “Smoke Alarms: A sound you can live with.“  Below are some fast facts from the NFPA web site.
Smoke alarms

  • 1Smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a reported fire in half.
  • Most homes (96%) have at least one smoke alarm.
  • Overall, three-quarters of all U.S. homes have at least one working smoke alarm.
  • Each year, nearly 3,000 people die in U.S. home fires.
  • From 2003-2006, roughly two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from home fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
    - No smoke alarms were present in 40% of the home fire deaths.
    - In 23% of the home fire deaths, smoke alarms were present but did not sound.
  • In more than half of the reported home fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate even though the fire was large enough, batteries were missing or disconnected. Nuisance alarms were the leading reason for disconnected alarms.
  • More than half of the smoke alarms found in reported fires and two-thirds of the alarms             found in homes with fire deaths were powered by battery only.
  • Most homes still have smoke alarms powered by battery only. In a 2007 American Housing Survey (AHS), 67% of the respondents who reported having smoke alarms said they were powered by battery only.
  • In a 2008 survey, only 12% knew that smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years.
  • In fires considered large enough to activate a smoke alarm, hard-wired alarms operated 91% of the time; battery-powered smoke alarms operated 75% of the time.
  • Interconnected smoke alarms on all floors increase safety.


  • Cooking is the #1 cause of home fires and injuries.
  • Smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths.
  • Heating is the second leading cause of home fires, fire deaths and fire injuries.
  • Electrical failures or malfunctions are factors in roughly 50,000 reported fires each year.
  • Roughly 30, 000 intentionally set home structure fires are reported each year.

2In 2008

  • U.S. fire departments responded to 386,500 home fires.
  • Home fires killed 2,755 people and injured 13,160.
  • Someone was injured in a reported home fire every 40 minutes.
  • Roughly eight people died in home fires every day.
  • A fire department responded to a home fire every 82 seconds.
  • 83% of all fire deaths and 79% of fire injuries resulted from home fires.


Visit these websites for more information:
NFPA website:
KSU-Fire Safety: website:
US Fire Administration website:
UGA Fire Extinguisher training website:

Halloween Safety


Choosing Safe Houses: Children should go only to homes where the residents are known and have outside lights on as a sign of welcome.

  • Children should not enter homes or apartments unless they are accompanied by an adult.
  • People expecting trick-or-treaters should remove anything that could be an obstacle from lawns, steps and porches. Candlelit jack-o'-lanterns should be kept away from landings and doorsteps where costumes could brush against the flame. Indoor jack-o'-lanterns should be kept away from curtains, decorations, and other furnishings that could be ignited.

Graphic of two children trick or treating that points our Halloween Safety tips

Consumers can obtain this publication and additional publication information from the Publications section of CPSC's web site



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